Inspiration from Austria – Homemade vegetable broth with buckwheat pancakes

Homemade vegetable broth with buckwheat pancakes :: Photographed and styled by Sonja Dahlgren

I hope you had a good start to the new year. Isn’t it a nice thought that at the beginning of a new year everything is allowed to start fresh and you can let yourself forget about past mistakes and sorrows and just start anew?

We just got back from a week of skiing in St. Anton, Austria, which was an excellent way to start off the new year. As always when travelling I get so inspired and uplifted, and this time probably even more so owing to the persistent rain in Scandinavia over Christmas. It was such delight to see the mountains, the snow, to get plenty of exercise and to breathe the fresh alpine air.

And to have soup. Nothing tastes better after a day of skiing, and let me tell you Austria is a heaven for soup lovers.

No meal starts without it.

I am not so impressed in general with the Austrian kitchen. It’s a bit on the heavy side for my tastes. But the soups are delicious.

Homemade vegetable broth with buckwheat pancakes :: Photographed and styled by Sonja DahlgrenHomemade vegetable broth with buckwheat pancakes :: Photographed and styled by Sonja Dahlgren

Frittatensuppe is traditionally a home made beef broth (or consommé) topped with rolled up and then thinly sliced strips of pancake. And I was inspired to go home and make a vegetarian versionwith healthier pancakes. And I chose to make the pancakes both dairy and gluten free. This dish may even become a weekday “go-to” meal for the entire family.

You can of course, if you like, make this on store-bought broth. But every time I make vegetable broth from scratch I wonder why I ever bother buying it in the store. It is so easy.

And so good.

Just chop up some vegetables, sweat them in olive oil, cover with water and simmer for an our, strain and serve. Or freeze in containers for later use.

Homemade vegetable broth with buckwheat pancakes :: Photographed and styled by Sonja Dahlgren

This is a really fresh dish to start the new year. Something you can make over and over and with different toppings (or different broths) throughout the winter. I hope you like it as much as we do!

And do check back soon for some healthy breakfast recipes coming up…

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Utskriftsvänligt recept
Printable recipe
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Homemade vegetable broth

You can make broth using any amount of vegetables that you happen to have on-hand, but it’s good to have a roughly equal portion of each so the result will have a balanced flavor. And the amount of water doesn’t really matter. Less water makes your stock more concentrated, while more water makes a lighter-flavored stock. Here’s what I used this time.

2 onions
3 carrots
5 celery stalks
2 leeks (the green parts)
1 fennel bulb
2 parsnips (or parsley roots)
1 bunch of fresh thyme
1 bunch of fresh parsley
2 bay leafs
1 tsp whole peppercorns
olive oil or other oil of your choice
water

sea salt

1) Wash any visible dirt off the vegetables (peel the roots if you like) and chop them up roughly. Sweat the vegetables in a small amount of olive oil on low heat for about 6-7 minutes. This step can be skipped, but it does release more flavour.
2) Cover the vegetables with water. But not too much – make sure there’s enough room so you can easily stir them in the pot. Bring the pot to just under a boil. Once you start to see some bubbling around the edges of the pot, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for about an hour. Just give it a good stir every now and then.
3) Take the pot off the stove and remove all the vegetables with a slotted spoon. Set your strainer over a big bowl and line it with cheese cloth or coffee filters. Pour the broth through.
4) Season the broth with salt and pepper and serve with finely sliced buckwheat pancakes.

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Buckwheat pancakes

makes 12-15 pancakes

1 cup (90 g) buckwheat flour
1/2 cup (50 g) brown rice flour
3 cups (720 ml) unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
3 large eggs
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
pinch of sea salt

1) In a large mixing bowl mix all ingredients and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
2) Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Give the batter a good whisk before frying the pancakes as the flour tends to sink to the bottom.
3) Heat a non-stick pan or an oiled pancake skillet and fry the pancakes on medium-high heat.
4) Place the pancakes on a plate to cool and when ready to serve with the broth, just roll them up and slice very thin strips.

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Serve the broth with the thinly sliced pancake strips, parsley, sprouts, garden cress or whatever you have at hand that tastes good and looks good!

Homemade vegetable broth with buckwheat pancakes :: Photographed and styled by Sonja DahlgrenHomemade vegetable broth with buckwheat pancakes :: Photographed and styled by Sonja DahlgrenThyme :: Photographed and styled by Sonja Dahlgren

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Gingerbread spiced almond & apricot energy balls

Dagmar's Kitchen :: Gingerbread spiced almond & apricot energy balls

I hope you’re having the best holiday ever. Me and my family have had the coziest and laziest days just listening to music, playing board games (ok, some iPad too…), sniffing hyacinths, playing with new toys (very much enjoying Wii Just Dance 2014) and taking long walks in the rain. We’ve had nothing but rain for the last three weeks or so, hence the christmas feeling is mostly inside. And we’re trying hard to give the rabbits a bit of christmas feeling too (they live outside) – making sure they have dry hay and a piece of apple or carrot every day. We even made a little wreath for them.

Dagmar's Kitchen :: Gingerbread spiced almond & apricot energy ballsDagmar's Kitchen :: Gingerbread spiced almond & apricot energy balls

I wasn’t planning on blogging anything this christmas. But these little energy balls filled with goodness and nutrition turned out so good. I simply had to share them with you. And if you’re tired at all of traditional christmas sweets, these could be the thing for you.

I know you read gingerbread in the title but don’t let that put you off. I promise, these are worth considering making. And they are really versatile too, as you can easily swap the gingerbread spices for cocoa powder and make these, should you be tired of traditional christmas flavors…

Dagmar's Kitchen :: Gingerbread spiced almond & apricot energy ballsDagmar's Kitchen :: Gingerbread spiced almond & apricot energy balls

Most recipes with dried fruit call for dates, but I like apricots better. They aren’t as sweet as dates and they have one of the lowest glycemic index of all dried fruit – only 31 in fact. Just make sure you go for sulfite free apricots (they are dark brown in color) and preferably organic.

Wishing you a wonderful new year and thank you for your support this year. See you in 2014!

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Utskriftsvänligt recept
Printable recipe

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Gingerbread spiced almond & apricot energy balls

makes about 20

1 cup (200 g) dried apricots
1 1/2 cup (200 g) almond flour
50 g raw cocoa nibs (can be omitted but they do add a nice crunch)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
0,5 tsp sea salt
juice from 2 small clementines (or 1 orange)

finely chopped almonds, cinnamon, chia seeds etc. to roll in

1) Place all ingredients in a high speed blender or in a food processor. Pulse until mixed well. You might need to stop and scrape the mix down the sides a few times during the process if your blender isn’t powerful enough. I have a Kitchen aid blender and the only thing I find a little problematic is to mix sticky stuff. But it does the work fine with a little help.
2) When all ingredients are well mixed and puréed use your hands to form 20 round balls. Roll them in chopped almonds, cinnamon or chia seeds and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.

Dagmar's Kitchen :: Gingerbread spiced almond & apricot energy ballsDagmar's Kitchen :: Gingerbread spiced almond & apricot energy balls

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Wishing you the sweetest holiday

Chocolate bark with pistachios and sea salt

Wishing you and yours the sweetest holiday. Take good care of each other, eat with sense, have some sweets (but not too many) and don’t forget to do some exercise in between gatherings.

See you again soon after the holidays!

//Sonja

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Saffron, orange & poppy seed layer cake with Vanilla cream cheese frosting

Saffron, orange & poppy seed layer cake with Vanilla cream cheese frosting

First of all – say hello to Dagmar’s new look. A talented graphic designer/artist has been working for a while to create a new logo to match the style of my blog. And finally it’s here and I am so so happy with how it turned out! What do you think? I hope you like it as much as I do.

And I thought to myself – what better way to celebrate than to bake a cake? After all there are several good reasons to have cake these days – christmas is coming up shortly, and lately I’ve had this newfound love for the idea of making cake.

Saffron, orange & poppy seed layer cake with Vanilla cream cheese frostingSaffron, orange & poppy seed layer cake with Vanilla cream cheese frosting

You see, I have never been a cake baking person. And I have to admit – not even for my children’s birthdays. They aren’t very fond of cake at all, and to be honest I’ve never been either. So we always have cup cakes or eton mess with candles stuck in it instead of cake.

Until I realized cake doesn’t have to be about lots of heavy whipped cream and over-sweetened sponge. But most importantly, it doesn’t have to be complicated!

Why did I have to turn 40 before the news hit me?

Saffron, orange & poppy seed layer cake with Vanilla cream cheese frosting

Also, when I grew up – cake was something you’d have after the cinnamon rolls and the mandatory seven little biscuits. Yes, that’s an old-fashioned Swedish “fika” (=coffee with snacks) and grandma would be very disheartened if you didn’t taste all of it. Hence I was always too full to eat cake, and it never tasted very good in my opinion.

However, ever since it struck me that cake doesn’t have to be complicated and that it can be whatever I want it to be I haven’t been able to think of much else. I want to bake cake all the time. At least I bake cake in my head all the time. And I have this constant eagerness to think out ways to style and photograph it.

Only problem is – we can’t eat much cake. If I bake one, I’d have one slice, P would have one (at the most…) and the kids would lick the frosting off of it and leave the cake totally messed up. And it would end its days in the bin.

So I thought, maybe for christmas I could bake one. And bring it to my parent’s house for more people to share.

So here it is – a christmas layer cake with saffron, orange and poppy seeds covered in a vanilla cream cheese frosting. I think we might even be able to eat all of it. There will be 14 of us. What do you think?

Wishing all of you a very merry christmas and happy baking!

Saffron, orange & poppy seed layer cake with Vanilla cream cheese frosting

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Utskriftsvänligt recept
Printable recipe

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Saffron, orange & poppy seed layer cake with Vanilla cream cheese frosting

a small four layer cake or a “normal size” two layer cake

0,5 g saffron + 1 tbsp boiling water
zest of 1 orange

300 g butter
1 cup + 4 tbsp (300 g) raw cane sugar

7 organic eggs, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp milk

3 cups (300 g) almond flour
2 tbsp corn flour
3 tbsp black poppy seeds
pinch of sea salt

1) Preheat the oven to 175° C (350° F). Line two round cake tins (approx. 23-25 cm) with parchment paper for a two layer cake. Or, for a small four layer cake, use two rectangular baking trays (big enough to take out two small rounds in each).
2) Dissolve the saffron in boiling water. Add the orange zest and set aside. In a medium bowl mix almond flour, corn flour, poppy seeds and salt and set aside.
3) Using an electric hand mixer or a table-top mixer whisk the butter and sugar together until white and fluffy. Add the eggs (a little at a time) to the butter and sugar, whisking continuously. The mixture might curdle towards the end, but don’t worry too much if it does. The cake won’t rise so well, but it’s not a disaster.
4) When all the egg has been incorporated, fold in the saffron/orange zest and then the almond flour mix using a rubber spatula. Scrape the mixture into the baking trays and spread it out very gently.
5) Bake for about 30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool a bit before lifting the cake out of the tin. Then cool completely on a wire rack.

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Vanilla cream cheese frosting

150 g butter
100 g soft (fresh) goat cheese
100 g cream cheese
2,5 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

1) Whisk all ingredients well using an electric hand mixer until very pale and fluffy.
2) To assemble the cake: Place one layer of the cake on a plate. With a knife or offset spatula, spread a fairly thick layer of frosting over the layer. Repeat for the remaining layers and finish off with an even layer on on the top and sides of the cake. Put the finished cake in the fridge to set for 10-20 minutes if needed.

Decorate with anemones if desired, but make sure to put some cling film or a round of white parchment paper underneath to protect the cake as anemones are not edible flowers!

TIPS! This is a very moist and squishy cake. You can bake it two-three days in advance and store tightly wrapped in clingfilm, and then assemble with the frosting just before serving. It is quite rich, so serve it in thin slices!

This cake also happens to be naturally gluten free.

Saffron, orange & poppy seed layer cake with Vanilla cream cheese frostingSaffron, orange & poppy seed layer cake with Vanilla cream cheese frosting

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Almond, millet and cheddar scones with Rosemary citrus compote

Almond, millet and cheddar scones with Rosemary citrus compote

As much as I love mornings and breakfasts, it has to be said. Our mornings are far from idyllic.

You see, in a house with two kids and two rabbits (who indeed live outside of the house, but anyway) there are always hairs to detangle, lost shoes to be found, rabbits to feed, teeth to brush, little rucksacks to pack. And the list goes on…

And then there is breakfast.

Rosemary citrus compoteAlmond, millet and cheddar scones with Rosemary citrus compoteAlmond, millet and cheddar scones with Rosemary citrus compote

Most mornings we’re happy with a quick bowl of unsweetened yoghurt with granola, cacao nibs and cinnamon. My favorite breakfast of all times. And the kids are alright with the same. Minus the cacao nibs, that is…

Yuck, what’s that smell? Your food smells like coffee mum! Egon (aged 6) exclaimed the other day when I supposedly was sitting too close to him during breakfast, chewing my cacao nibs.

Some days we just have a buttered wholemeal toast with a glass of apple juice, and occasionally these pancakes paired with a smoothie.

We wouldn’t make scones for an ordinary weekday – but this duet will be perfect for those long weekend breakfasts this winter, or as an afternoon snack with tea. Especially great as the christmas season’s coming up and we all want to treat ourselves and our loved ones to something extra.

My take on the traditional English scones is a little healthier than the wheat flour ones. I used spelt flour, almond flour and millet flakes, and for a little sweetness I added raisins and orange zest. And there’s cheddar cheese and roasted almonds in there too. In other words – lots of goodness in one bite.

Simply serve them with butter and the citrus compote.

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Want more inspiration? Find some other fantastic scones recipes I’d like to try soon here (I have dried lavender from summer to use up) and here (so in season with pumpkin purée and frozen blueberries).

And you? I’d love to hear about your breakfast habits and your favorite breakfast!

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Utskriftsvänligt recept (2 sidor)
Printable recipe (2 pages)

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Almond, millet and cheddar scones

makes 12

1/3 cup almonds, lightly roasted
1 cup + 1/3 cup fine spelt flour
1 cup almond flour
1 cup millet flakes
3,5 tsp baking powder
0,5 tsp sea salt
0,5 tsp psyllium husks
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

100 g cold butter

zest of 1 organic orange
1/4 cup sultana raisins
1 cup milk

1) Preheat the oven to 250° C (482° F). In a dry skillet lightly roast the almonds on medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
2) When completely cooled, coarsely chop the almonds and in a medium bowl mix them with all the dry ingredients including the grated cheese.
3) Chop the butter into small cubes and add it to the dry mix. Then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs.
4) Make a well in the dry mix, then add the milk, orange zest and sultanas and combine it quickly with a fork or a rubber spatula until it comes together. It will seem a little wet at first, but don’t worry about that.
5) Scatter some spelt flour onto the work surface and tip the dough out. Dust the dough and your hands with a little more flour, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Pat into a round about 2,5cm (1 inch) deep.
6) Use a 5cm cookie cutter (an ordinary drinking glass works too) dipped in flour to cut out the scones. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Re-pat scraps and repeat until you have twelve scones.
7) Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with millet flakes and/or almond flakes. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes.
8) Leave the scones to cool on a wire rack.

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Rosemary citrus compote

Adapted with minor changes from the fabulous “What Katie Ate”

2 oranges or blood oranges
2 pink grapefruits (use organic fruit if you can)
2 tbsp light muscovado sugar
1 tbsp honey
4-5 sprigs of fresh rosemary + more to serve

1) To segment the fruit: Cut the top and bottom off, then use a small sharp knife to remove all the skin and pith. Then hold the fruit over a bowl to catch the juices, and carefully remove each inner segment from the membrane. Place the segments in the bowl with the juices once they are completely free of any white pith and seeds.
2) In a skillet add the segmented fruit and juices with the muscovado sugar and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes to soften the fruit. Then remove from the heat, reserve the fruit and set aside (use a strainer or skimmer).
3) Return the juices to the heat, add the honey and rosemary and simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until syrupy.
4) Remove the rosemary sprigs and pour the syrup over the fruit. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary to serve.

Almond, millet and cheddar scones with Rosemary citrus compote

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